Data flaws jeopardize ObamaCare coverage for millions


Health and Human ServicesInconsistencies in application data submitted to online health care insurance exchanges may jeopardize coverage for millions of Americans and cause massive headaches come next tax season.

According to a new report from the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services, the federal government was unable to resolve 89 percent of the “inconsistencies” in data from applications submitted at

“During the period of our review, marketplaces were unable to resolve most inconsistencies, which they reported most commonly as citizenship and income,” the report said. “Specifically, the Federal marketplace was unable to resolve 2.6 million of 2.9 million inconsistencies because the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) eligibility system was not fully operational.”

Accurate data is required to ensure that applicants can verify their enrollment and, in some instances, obtain subsidies for their coverage. The problem could cause confusion when an applicant attempts to use their insurance and will almost certainly cause turmoil during the 2015 tax season.

According to the report, most of the problems revolved around verifying individuals citizenship and income information. In many cases, such information submitted by applicants conflicted with what the federal government had on record. The problems are only exacerbated by an eligibility system that the report said is not fully functional.

Although the problem is not known to extend to all state-based exchanges, similar difficulties have been reported in Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon and Vermont.

The report also indicates that this new information may be incomplete, as “data on inconsistencies are limited.”

“For example, the Federal marketplace could not determine the number of applicants who had at least one inconsistency,” the report said. “[M]arketplaces faced challenges resolving inconsistencies despite having policies and procedures in place.”

“This report is one more example of just how flawed the president’s health care law is,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kty.) said in a statement. “Whatever one’s opinion of ObamaCare, the American public deserves to know that their tax dollars are allocated appropriately and that public officials take their responsibility to accurately and faithfully apply the laws enacted by Congress seriously.”

Data inconsistency is just one of the problems incoming Health Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell will face as she takes over for Kathleen Sebelius, who resigned in April.

Read the full report here:



  1. Just wait until the tax season arrives and people start filing and discover that they under-estimated their taxable income. They will be shocked to learn that not only do they not get a refund but also they owe more taxes because their subsidies were too large. The screams will be heard all the way to DC!

  2. I’m just glad that the Maine Wire would publish articles like this. The Bangor Daily News just can’t seem to find these type of articles fit for their left wing pages.

  3. Lack of any kind of health care system jeopardized the health of millions. If The Maine Wire were a disinterested reporter of the news, it would acknowledge that. Furthermore, it would inform you that the ACA was based mainly on a Republican model of what national health care should look like, Granted, that was back in the “olden” days before the advent of the reactionary Tea Party, when Republicans actually believed in the necessity of federal government, but nonetheless, the foundation of the ACA is a Republican invention at its base. Just compare it to what Romney did in MA! And now you are all screaming, and Republicans in the House are wasting time and resources trying to take it all back now, over and over to no avail. What leadership! What courage! What an abysmal failure on the part of the Right!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here